2016 Press Releases

ERI seeks solutions for climate change

25 Oct 2016
Dr Paul Bolger, the Environmental Research Institute at UCC and Kieran Lettice, Energy Cork. Photo: Darragh Kane

A 24-hour hackathon (Climathon) is taking place at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), this Friday (October 28) to come up with solutions for climate change challenges within the agri-food sector.

The Climathon is a global event taking place simultaneously in 121 cities around the world with each city setting up its own local climate change challenge reflecting their big climate challenges is and what impacts them most. The Cork challenge is “How to make Cork’s food and agriculture sustainable and climate smart?”  The Cork Climathon organisers, the Environmental Research Institute, UCC and Energy Cork, hope to enable participants to deliver tangible solutions to ensure the sustainability of the region’s thriving agri-business sector, while diminishing any negative climate impact.

“Cork has a great reputation for our high quality food and has the largest proportion of farming production of any county in Ireland.  On the other hand, the agri-food industry is responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions so with these facts in mind, we felt it was appropriate to tailor the Cork Climathon to the food sector and look at ways we can manage and reduce the carbon footprint of agribusiness in the region. The hackathon promises to be a very exciting and unique event & an ideal outcome would be generate new businesses in Cork focused on addressing climate change challenges for the agri-food industry” said Dr Paul Bolger, ERI Manager, Environmental Research Institute.

“We all have to eat, so it’s an important issue that affects everyone. Whether you’re a farmer or an artisan food producer, an engineer, a designer or a teacher, we are welcoming all interested and motivated people with to join us in this 24 hour Climathon, which will be intensive, collaborative and fun, we hope to achieve outputs that deliver a more sustainable food supply and value chain,” added Kieran Lettice, Energy Cork.

Real-life climate challenges from farmers, local coops, food producers and distributors, and shops will be pitched to the Climathon participants. The participants will work in teams with a host of highly experienced business coaches and mentors to ideate, problem solve, develop business cases and pitch their ideas to address these climate change challenges. Problems include food waste from a local hotel, how to reduce/offset methane emissions from cattle to make farms carbon neutral, how to source raw ingredients locally or in Ireland instead of having to import them, and how to establish an eco-friendly delivery system for a sandwich company. Each participant on the winning team will receive a hamper from The Pigs Back and will enter a Climate Launchpad entrepreneurship programme to develop their idea further.

People from all backgrounds and industries are invited to participate in the event from 10am on Friday until 10am on Saturday, 29 October. The Climathon will be a unique, challenging, fun and free. For more information on registering for this event please see www.climathon.climate-kic.org/Cork


Cork Climathon 2016 is hosted by the ERI, UCC and Energy Cork and organised in partnership with Ignite UCC, Blackstone Launchpad at UCC, Taste Cork, Cork City Council, MAREI, Local Enterprise Offices, the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

For further information contact Dr Paul Bolger, ERI at Tel: 021-4901933  or Renate Murphy, Cameo Communications, Mob: 086-8145462

 For more information about the Environmental Research Institute visit  http://www.ucc.ie/en/eri/

 If you are interested in learning more about UCC courses that deal with climate change visit http://www.ucc.ie/en/sefs/

 Read about UCC’s Green Campus project https://www.ucc.ie/en/greencampus/about/


University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF